Environmental Engineering Dictionary and Directory
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Pankratz, Tom M.
Environmental engineering dictionary and directory / Thomas M. Pankratz.
ISBN 1-56670-543-6 (alk. paper)
1. Environmental engineering--Dictionaries. 2. Brand name products--Dictionaries. 3.
Trademarks--Dictionaries. 4. Environmental engineering--Directories. I. Title.
TD9 .P36 2000
This book contains information obtained from authentic and highly regarded sources. Reprinted material
is quoted with permission, and sources are indicated. A wide variety of references are listed. Reasonable
efforts have been made to publish reliable data and information, but the author and the publisher cannot
assume responsibility for the validity of all materials or for the consequences of their use.
Neither this book nor any part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopying, microﬁlming, and recording, or by any information storage or
retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.
The consent of CRC Press LLC does not extend to copying for general distribution, for promotion, for
creating new works, or for resale. Speciﬁc permission must be obtained in writing from CRC Press LLC
for such copying.
Direct all inquiries to CRC Press LLC, 2000 N.W. Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, Florida 33431.
Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are
used only for identiﬁcation and explanation, without intent to infringe.
© 2001 by CRC Press LLC
Lewis Publishers is an imprint of CRC Press LLC
No claim to original U.S. Government works
International Standard Book Number 1-56670-543-6
Library of Congress Card Number 00-044356
Printed in the United States of America 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Printed on acid-free paper
This book has been written to help professionals, students, and lay people identify
the increasing number of terms in the ﬁelds of environmental engineering and
More than 8000 terms, acronyms, and abbreviations applying to wastewater,
potable water, industrial water treatment, seawater desalination, air pollution, incin-
eration, and hazardous waste remediation have been deﬁned.
The most unique feature of this book is the inclusion of more than 3000 trade-
marks and brand names. Many of these commercial terms for proprietary products
or processes are so common or descriptive that they have fallen into general use.
This confusion is compounded by the fact that many terms contain similar preﬁxes
(e.g., bio-, enviro-, hydra-, hydro-, etc.) and it is often difﬁcult to tell them apart.
This book originates from Screening Equipment Handbook, ﬁrst published in
1988, whose glossary contains a list of screening-related trademarks and brand
names along with their company afﬁliation. Even though that list was relatively
short, a surprisingly large number of companies had come and gone or changed their
names through mergers or acquisitions. This led to an expanded directory entitled,
The Dictionary of Water and Wastewater Treatment Trademarks and Brand Names,
published in 1991, and which contained 1200 commercial terms.
The Concise Dictionary of Environmental Engineering followed in 1996. In
addition to the 2200 commercial terms, it was further expanded to include 3000
generic environmental engineering terms. Shortly after it was published, the envi-
ronmental equipment manufacturing industry began a consolidation led by USFilter,
Waterlink, Baker Hughes, ITT, F.B. Leopold, and others that has resulted in changes
to 43% of the terms included in the 1996 edition.
During the research for this book, many other books, magazines, dictionaries,
glossaries, buyer’s guides, catalogs, brochures, and technical papers were reviewed
to locate new terms and their deﬁnitions. Although there are too many references
to list, I would like to acknowledge the help of these publications and their authors.
In addition to technically reviewing this book, John B. Tonner was especially
helpful with his suggestions, advice, research assistance, and computer wizardry.
Regardless of when I would call, John was always available to help. His www.world-
wide-water.com Web site also proved to be a valuable research tool.
I would like to acknowledge the libraries that were used in my research. They
include the M.D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston, the Helen Hall
Library in League City, Texas, the Houston Public Library Central Branch, and the
library at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mining in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
I also recognize USFilter and Alfa-Laval for their support.
I’m grateful for the assistance of the many friends and colleagues who suggested
new terms and challenged old ones, helped with deﬁnitions, provided encouragement,
or assisted in the book’s production. Some of these people include Robert W. Brown,
Gordon Carter, Bill Copa, Chad Dannemann, Jim Force, Jack Gardiner, Duane
Germenis, Stacie Jones, John Meidl, Mack Moore, Chad Pankratz, Bill Perpich,
Barb Petroff, Jim Symons, Mark Wilson, and Joe Zuback.
Like the ﬁrst edition, published in 1996, much of my work on this book took
place while traveling; the rest was done in the evenings and weekends. I would never
have been able to ﬁnish without the continued patience and support of my wife,
Julie, and our children, Chad, Sarah, Mike, and Katie.
This book is dedicated to my wife, Julie Lynn Pankratz, and our grandson,
Gabriel R. Suarez, who was born the same day this book was completed.
This dictionary contains terms used in the ﬁelds of environmental engineering and
environmental science, and the deﬁnitions provided relate to their use in an envi-
ronmental context only.
The commercial terms represent company brand names or trademarks, and have
been italicized to differentiate them from the technical terms in general usage.
Whenever appropriate, the use of ™ or ® has been included following the name of
the entry, although terms may be registered trademarks even though they do not
include either symbol. It is also possible that some of the entries listed as trademarks
may not be registered or properly used by the manufacturers listed in connection
Brand names and trademarks often evolve and take different forms. Variations
in the use of capitalization, hyphens, or symbols often occur over time. The repre-
sentation of the words included in this book reﬂects the latest version seen in use
and are assumed to be the preferred form.
Commercial acronyms are included if they are registered trademarks or com-
monly used abbreviations of company names. Nonregistered product model numbers
and trademarks that are the same as the name of a company are not always included.
Many deﬁnitions were extrapolated from stories, advertisements, or product bro-
chures and were not directly corroborated by the company listed as being responsible
for the term.
The company name included in the deﬁnition of a commercial term usually
represents the company that manufactures that particular product or process. In some
cases, the listed company may only market, distribute, or license the product.
In several instances, the same brand name has been listed more than once to
describe different products or processes from different companies. The author is
unaware of any dispute involving these cases and is simply reporting that the
companies identiﬁed have used the term for the product described. In some cases,
the term may be dormant, obsolete, or no longer available from the company listed.
Company addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses listed in the Manu-
facturer’s Directory were conﬁrmed over a period of several years. Some contact
information may have changed, especially with the recent telephone area code
changes in many parts of the U.S. Readers are cautioned that an incorrect phone
number, address, or e-mail address does not mean that a company is no longer in
There are a few cases where a company whose name is listed in a deﬁnition is
not included in the Manufacturer’s Directory. If current contact information for a
company could not be located, the out-of-date information was not included.
Terms have been arranged alphabetically using current word processing software.
In general, terms related to plumbing, household products, computer programs,
or software have not been included.
All of the terms have been listed in good faith. A reasonable attempt has been
made to conﬁrm all deﬁnitions and, in the case of commercial terms, verify the
companies responsible for the listings. The author apologizes for any omissions or
If you are aware of any changes or additions that should be included in subse-
quent editions, please send them to Tom Pankratz, P.O. Box 75064, Houston, Texas
The areas of environmental engineering and sciences and their related business
activities have grown to the point that they overlap the professional and private lives
of almost everyone. As environmental issues become more complicated, so does the
vocabulary required to understand and discuss them. This Environmental Engineer-
ing Dictionary and Directory deﬁnes many terms that did not even exist a decade ago.
My own ﬁeld of water reclamation and reuse is an example of a relatively new
area of environmental engineering that has fostered the introduction of many new
terms and technologies.
When considering advanced treatment of municipal and industrial wastewaters,
a repeated thesis has been that such a high quality efﬂuent should be put to beneﬁcial
use rather than simply wasted. Today, technically proven treatment and puriﬁcation
processes exist to provide treated water of almost any quality desired. This offers a
realistic framework for considering water reclamation and reuse in many parts of
the world that are experiencing water shortages. Nonpotable water reuse applications,
such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, toilet ﬂushing in large ofﬁce buildings,
and water for aesthetic and environmental purposes have become major options for
planned water reuse.
Water reuse provides innovative and alternative options for agriculture, munic-
ipalities, and industries. However, water reuse is only one alternative in planning to
meet future water resource needs. Conservation, efﬁcient management and use of
existing water supplies, and the development of new water resources based on
watershed management or seawater desalination are examples of other alternatives.
As the ﬁeld of environmental engineering continues to develop, so will the
vocabulary required for its discussion and study. Our need to understand the envi-
ronment and to better appreciate our relationship with nature is greater now than at
any time in our history. Thus Tom’s book is particularly timely and relevant.
Takashi Asano, Ph.D., P.E.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California at Davis
Å See “Angstrom (Å).”
A&I Alternative and Innovative.
A/O® Wastewater treatment process for biological removal of nitrogen by USFil-
A2/O® Biological treatment process for phosphorus and nitrogen removal by USFil-
A2C™ Biological wastewater treatment system by Baker Process — Municipal
A·I·R Photocatalytic process to destroy VOCs by Trojan Technologies, Inc.
AA See “atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AA).”
AAEE American Academy of Environmental Engineers.
AAP Asbestos Action Program.
AAPCO American Association of Pesticide Control Ofﬁcials.
AAQS Ambient air quality standards.
AARC Alliance for Acid Rain Control.
AAS American Association for the Advancement of Science.
ABA1000® Alumina oxide for phosphate reduction by Selecto, Inc.
ABA2000® Alumina oxide for lead and heavy metals removal by Selecto, Inc.
ABA8000® Alumina oxide for ﬂuoride removal by Selecto, Inc.
abandoned well A well whose use has been permanently discontinued or which
is in a state of such disrepair that it cannot be used for its intended purpose.
abatement Reducing the degree or intensity of, or eliminating, pollution.
abattoir A place where animals are slaughtered for their meat and meat byproducts.
ABC Filter™ Automatic backwashable cartridge ﬁlter by USFilter/Rockford.
Abcor® Ultraﬁltration membrane product by Koch Membrane Systems, Inc.
ABF Activated bio-ﬁltration wastewater treatment system by Inﬁlco Degremont,
ABF Traveling bridge type automatic backwashing gravity sand ﬁlter by Aqua-
Aerobic Systems, Inc.
abiocoen All of the geologic, climatic, and other nonliving elements of an eco-
abiotic Nonliving elements in the environment.
ABJ™ ABJ product group of Sanitaire Corp.
ablation The combined processes of glacial melting and evaporation which results
in a net loss of ice.
ablation zone The lower part of a glacier where the net loss of ice exceeds the
ABS (1) Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene. A black plastic material, used in the man-
ufacture of pipes and other components. (2) Alkyl-benzene-sulfonate. A sur-
factant formerly used in synthetic detergents that resisted biological breakdown.
absolute ﬁlter rating A ﬁlter rating which indicates that 99.9% of the particles
larger than a speciﬁed size will be removed by the ﬁlter.
absolute humidity The total amount of water vapor present in the air, measured
in grams per cubic meter.
absolute pressure The total pressure in a system, equal to the sum of the gage
pressure and atmospheric pressure.
absolute purity water Water with a speciﬁc resistance of 18.3 megohm-cm at
absolute zero The lowest temperature possible; 0° on the Kelvin scale or approx-
imately –273°C (–459.7°F).
absorbate A substance used to soak up another substance.
absorbed dose The amount of a chemical that enters the body of an exposed
absorbent Any substance that exhibits the properties of absorption.
absorption The process of transferring molecules of gas, liquid, or a dissolved
substance to the surface of a solid where it is bound by chemical or physical
absorption ﬁeld A trench or pit ﬁlled with gravel or loose rock designed to absorb
septic tank efﬂuent.
ABW® Traveling bridge type gravity sand ﬁlter by Inﬁlco Degremont, Inc.
abyssal zone A zone of deep oceanic waters, generally deeper than 2000 meters
and between the hadal and bathyal zones where light does not penetrate.
AC See “activated carbon.”
AC® Industrial wastewater treatment unit by Colloid Environmental Technologies
ACA American Conservation Association.
acaricide A pesticide used to kill spiders, ticks, or mites.
ACBM Asbestos-containing building material.
Accelapak® Modular water treatment plant by Inﬁlco Degremont, Inc.
Accelator® Solids contact clariﬁer with primary and secondary mixing zones by
Inﬁlco Degremont, Inc.
Accelo Hi-Cap Filter underdrain block formerly offered by Inﬁlco Degremont,
Accelo-Biox® Modular wastewater treatment plant by Inﬁlco Degremont, Inc.
Accel-o-Fac™ Sewage treatment plant design by Lake Aid Systems.
acceptable risk The level of risk associated with minimal adverse effects, usually
determined by a risk analysis.
Access Analytical Former name of IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.
accessory species Species found in less than half but more than one quarter of the
area covered by a plant community.
accident site The location of an unexpected occurrence, failure or loss, either at
a plant or along a transportation route, resulting in a release of hazardous
acclimatization The physiological and behavioral adjustments of an organism to
changes in its environment.
Accoﬂoc® Ion exchange media by Colloid Environmental Technologies Co.
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